Chapter 1: What has been, may be, can be, and will
be done (The History, Law, and Science of Modern Mummification).
Reviews the law and the history of U.S. mummification, along with the science of modern
preservation (including natural preservation, desiccation, cooling and freezing, water
preservation, tanning, and adipocere formation). A brief, but clear and thorough
Chapter 2: Lying in state (Icons, idols, and
eccentrics). Includes detailed information about the mummies of
Lenin, Stalin, Mao Tse-tung, Eva Peron, Rosalia Lombardo, and Samuel
P. Dinsmoor. Also included are Ho Chi Minh, Kim II Sung, and Enrico Caruso, among others.
You haven't heard of them all, but Quigley gives sufficient information to satisfy the
curious, plus enough details to encourage an interesting family vacation (Lucas, Kansas
Chapter 3: Occupational hazards (Outlaws, victims,
and local folks). Includes detailed information on
McCurdy, Hazel Farris, John Wilkes Booth, among others--along with a host of other
lesser known mummies. The McCurdy tale is perhaps best known (the fun-house mummy found
while shooting a Six Million Dollar Man episode back in 1976), but the John Wilkes Booth
is the most fascinating (great photos, too). Quigley has done her homework here.
Chapter 4: Learning about life and death (Teaching
aids, test subjects, museum holdings, and teratology specimens). Discusses
unusual mummies used for teaching (including cadavers, plastinated
mummies, and computerized mummies); a few mummification experiments done on human cadavers
(including Bob Brier's Egyptian mummymaking); some unusual (and controversial) museum
mummy collections (shrunken heads, for example); and teratology collections, both in
museums and sideshows.
Chapter 5: Buying immortality (Emulations,
innovations, and applications). This chapter covers the gamut of possibilities
for anyone who has ever considered becoming a mummy upon death. Some of the possibilities
are real and expensive (contact one organization in Salt Lake City); others are just real (smoked
bodies from New Guinea).
Chapter 6: Accidents of nature (Adventurers,
explorers, and a spelunker). Covers mummies found in glaciers, on mountain tops
(climbing accidents), in the Arctic and Antarctic, and in a cave (Floyd Collins of Crystal
Chapter 7: Acts of faith (Servants, patriarchs, and
believers). Discusses the mummies of many religious figures, including the
Venerable Jacinta Marto and Father Solanus Casey. A brief mention is also made of the
unintentional mummification of Civil Rights' leader Medgar Evers (whose body was exhumed
some 20 years after he died).
Chapter 8: Mummy miscellany (Eviction, collection,
and neglect). Discusses how some (natural) mummies are discovered when their
bodies are removed ("evicted") from their burial site (such as Guanajuato, Mexico) as well as more grisly types of mummymaking
(including the 1971 Andes plane crash recounted in the book and movie, Alive! ).
Conclusion, bibliography, index.
conclusion, an excellent bibliography.